The Men's club started out in 1979, as Stirling Hockey Club, founded by ex-club stalwart David Anderson. To begin with, the club was primarily a junior section for young players in the Stirling area. David at this stage was playing for ICI Grangemouth, and many of the club's juniors found themselves playing in the morning for Stirling and an afternoon game for ICI.
Now in the latter stages of his career, David started a senior Stirling side, persuading some experienced players to join him in his quest. The club based at the old cricket club on grass started with some friendlies in its first season, moving on to national league hockey soon after.
As the junior section expanded and gained experience, the club won a foothold in the league and after 2 seasons began a remarkable rise up the leagues. The club, starting out in Division 6, gained 5 successive promotions. As they moved up the leagues, more and more players moved to the club from higher-level clubs. The Whitelaw, brothers Gordon and Iain, joined from ICI, along with Jim Wynne from Babcock Renfrew. Scotland international goalkeeper John Kilgour came from Harris, soon to be followed by an internationalist and now club veteran Neil Sharp.
Together with these players and the cunning guile of now Stirling Albion supremo Stuart Brown and current Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police Gordon Samson the club went from strength to strength. The talent emerging from the junior section meant the club entered a golden age. It found itself in the Premier League pitting themselves against teams like, then MIM, Menzieshil, and Kelburne among many others.
The move to the new astroturf at Annfield in the eighties proved to be the turning point in the club's fortunes (having previously played on the grass at the cricket club for 3 seasons, then the blaes at the University for two more seasons). It seemed to gel the young and the old into a unit, and young talents like Jamie Stokoe, Jon Taylor, David Parker and Robert Birrell came to the fore.
Around this time the club joined forces with ladies team, Central Wanderers, and shared practice sessions at Forthbank as the two clubs began to grow closer.
The ladies were a strong National League team and held their own with the likes of Dawn Gannon, Jean Faichney, Shona Airth, Fiona Harfield, Julie Watson, Carol Anderson and then Scotland internationalist Sharon Bissett.
The two clubs joined forces in the nineties, and the name changed to our current one Stirling Wanderers Hockey Club soon after.
The Ladies have remained a strong National League Hockey Club in Scotland and in recent years been moving up the rungs of East District with their 2nd team.
Unfortunately, the demise of the junior section, mainly due to the lack of opposition, seemed to coincide with the fall from grace of the men's section. Three teams, unfortunately, became one as players retired and university guys moved on in search of work. The men did battle hard with the likes of Jamie Whitsed and Neil Sharp remaining loyal and working hard to keep the men's section of the club afloat, though the decision was taken to start from scratch at the bottom of East District 4 in mid-2005 and attract a new young crop of players.
A pleasing upturn in fortunes has befallen the club in recent times, with the ladies firmly established in national league 3 and pushing for promotion. The gents after a gap of some years returning to the Men's National League 3 with Gordon Nelson leading the club to promotion through two leagues and Ben Taylor through three rungs of East and Central District.
2010 TO NOW
With a lot of the older generation moving away or retiring from hockey a new generation of wanderers on the men's and women's side has taken over the club, with old hands like Asif who captained the men's team for many years retiring. Turnover in the men's side was high. The women kept giving a solid performance year after year. 2017 was the year that both sides got new captains for their 1st teams and they really started hitting new heights. Douglas Johnston and Rachel Whillans both took their teams and won their league and different cups. The men's side narrowly missing out in promotion to East one in 2019-20 because the league was cancelled. The woman's side was fighting for promotion as well into 2020.
Most pleasing of all though is the junior section, which is now the envy of any club, thriving in the new environment of the water-based pitch at Forthbank and its new clubhouse at the home of Stirling County Cricket Club. With talented juniors always getting a chance to play for our 2nd teams and even the 1st we really are an inclusive club that nurtures talent.
The club really has come full circle!